Don’t Start Your Own Business Before Reading This

An OPEN sign on a shop door

Ahhh… the allure of owning your own business has tempted many of us. We’re struck by the best idea one day and think “That would make a great business, I should start one”. Maybe you’re sick of taking orders from a control freak boss, or perhaps you have a deep desire to make a change in the world.  Whatever the case, taking a deep look into your motivation, your personality and of course the viability of the business idea itself is imperative to determine if you should embark on this journey of business ownership.

Is Business Ownership Right For You?

First things first, do you actually want to start your own business?  No really.  It’s something you need to ask yourself and take time to sit with.  The reality of it is there’s going to be a lot of hard work, late nights, early mornings and many hurdles to jump over. Not to mention financial pressures and your mental & emotional strength will definitely be tested. Are you the type of person who has the fortitude and resilience to forge on through all of this and more?  If the answer is yes, then read on…

The Positives!

In contrast, there are many upsides of owning your own business.  You get to be the boss!  You call the shots, you make the decisions. If you crave control, owning your own business might be a great choice. And pouring all of your energy, ideas and creativity into your own venture and see it turn into a successful, viable business can be extremely rewarding. And if this business is something you feel strongly passionate about, the hours you put in will be even more rewarding.  Having pride in what you’re doing improves self confidence, increases persistence and your happiness meter will go way up.  Keep in mind that these positives will only be revealed if you choose a business that’s in alignment with your true values, dreams and desires.

How to Choose the Right Business (For You)!

Get to know yourself first. Find out what you’re good at and what you really enjoy doing. In most cases, our innate joys end up being our best talents, but most times we’re too busy to recognize them. Give yourself some time to get involved in some fun activities. What are some things you love spending your time doing? What do you seem to be drawn to over and over? What do you love learning about? Be present and aware. You’ll know you’re on to something when you loose track of time, forget about what else is going on around, or you find yourself grinning ear to ear. Pay attention to those signs, as they are a connection to your core values.  When your values align with what you spend your days doing, you will experience incredible fulfillment & joy. And isn’t that something you want to experience when owning your own business?  You want to be more fulfilled and happier right?  You want all the hard work, the blood, sweat and tears to be worth it in the end. It will be if you align your business with your values.

Set Yourself up For Success!

Now that you’ve got an idea for your business, it’s time to figure out if it’s VIABLE. Yes, you want to have fun & enjoy your work each day, but you can’t have your head in the clouds about it.  You need to ensure you can make money in the process, otherwise all you have is a hobby. You need to ask yourself if the business can actually be profitable? That’s what you need to figure out next.

  1. Start talking – Get vocal about your potential business. Talk to people. Tell your friends and family what you’re planning and get the word out. You never know who might know someone who knows someone who could help you out, who may spread the word about your business or someone who can offer valuable information about the profitability of your business idea. One thing is for sure, starting a business is a collaboration of efforts.  You will need help along the way.
  2. Do your research – Look into the industry yourself. Use the internet to your advantage and find information that will help you make an informed decision about your business idea. Find out who else is in the space you want to be in. Find out who your competitors would be. Seek out other entrepreneurs who can shed light on the value of your idea. You may want to consider aligning yourself with these connections. It’s important to have reliable industry networks you can ask about specific matters like incorporating, licences, and taxes. Any information that will help give you more insight into your potential business idea is key.
  3. Have a plan – What will be your business name? Will you need to hire employees right away? Do you need inventory? Will you require a building or office space? Ensure you have specific goals and steps in place to help you to move forward. You should also create a detailed business plan. This will help you identify what goals you need to have, and how you’re going to achieve them. You’ll also need a business plan if you intend on acquiring financing. For additional help on starting your own business, check out Alberta’s Business Link.

The fruits of your labor can be extremely sweet as a business owner if you do your homework before you start. Embarking on this path is not for everyone. But if you decide to go for it, just remember to listen to your gut, be practical and hold on tight, because being an entrepreneur will be the ride of a lifetime.

Written by Christine Graham